- Iran put on notice
- Former U.S. Ambassador: Moving embassy to Jerusalem could advance American interests
- In further sign of warming ties, Israel & Turkey renew strategic dialogue
- Test your glucose level without drawing blood
“I think General Flynn was really clear yesterday, that Iran has violated the joint [UN Security Council] Resolution [2231, which codified the Iran nuclear deal]; that Iran's additional hostile actions that it took against our Navy vessel are ones that we are very clear are not going to sit by and take,” Spicer said from the White House press room.
Spicer was referring to Iran’s recent ballistic missile test as well as the Iran-backed Houthi rebels’ attack on a Saudi naval vessel. (Fox News reported Monday that U.S. intelligence officials believe that the intended target of the attack was an American warship.) The missile test and naval incident “underscore what should have been clear to the international community all along about Iran’s destabilizing behavior across the Middle East,” Flynn said of the incident.
The United States is expected to impose sanctions on multiple Iranian entities as early as Friday following Tehran's ballistic missile test, a Reuters article noted Thursday. The sanctions will not violate the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
Daniel Shapiro, who served as an envoy to Israel from 2011 until last month, explained that his support for the embassy move stemmed from his understanding of Jerusalem’s history and a “sense of justice for Jewish claims to the city that are far too often called into question.” Moving the embassy to parts of Jerusalem that the international community agrees would remain under Israeli sovereignty in any peace deal with the Palestinians “is one way of acknowledging the centuries of history that link the Jewish people to the city, the questioning of which is closely linked to the denial of Israel’s very legitimacy,” he noted.
From a practical standpoint, it also makes sense to place the embassy in the same city that hosts the offices of Israeli officials, Shapiro observed.
The former ambassador qualified his support for the move by stressing that it must be done in a carefully calculated manner. He acknowledged that since Congress overwhelmingly approved the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act, which mandates that Washington relocate its embassy to Jerusalem, each U.S. president signed a six-month national security waiver to delay the move. Shapiro wrote that he agreed with the previous presidents’ decision to exercise their waiver authority “in the interest of pursuing Middle East peace.”
“But I have never believed that arguments for moving the embassy were groundless, or that it must await a final Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement,” he added. If the relocation was executed in a way that didn’t harm the possibility of peace between Israel and the Palestinians, Shapiro wrote, then “it could actually advance the prospects for a two-state solution by shattering self-defeating myths on both sides.” He particularly recommended that it take place in consultation with all interested parties, including the Palestinians, Jordanians, Egyptians, and Saudis.
Turkish-Israeli ties had been strained since the 2010 Mavi Marmara incident, when a flotilla under the control of the Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation—a group designated as a terror organization by the Netherlands and Germany—attempted to break Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip. IDF troops faced an “organized and violent” assault from a group of passengers after boarding the ship, according to a UN report. Ten crew members were killed in the ensuing fight, and several Israeli soldiers were injured.
After the reconciliation agreement was reached this past June, Israeli leaders noted the significant economic potential of closer ties. “Trade between Israel and Turkey has more than doubled from the Marmara event up until today,” said Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yaakov Amidror, adding that the deal will bolster that growth with “joint projects in government level. People are speaking about gas and there are other issues that might emerge.” Turkey also sent Israel assistance to fight wildfires that raged throughout the country in November.